Broken sewage pipe closes portable bathrooms


Amelia Thorpe

Out of order signs are now posted on the Portable bathroom- the doors to the school pictured will be open for students to get inside and use the restroom.

Amelia Thorpe

The portable bathrooms will be closed for the rest of the school year due to a broken sewage pipe. Students attending classes in the portables will now have to enter the building to access the restrooms. 

“There is something wrong with the toilets, and the sewage, and nobody really knows [for sure] what it is,” said Lincoln High School Business Manager Jill Ross. 

Students and staff were noticing a smell, and Portland Public Schools (PPS) services was asked to look into the issue. One of the people who noticed the smell was Ron Waugh, who teaches business in the portables. 

“I complained about the smell, and I went out there and looked and there was all this sewage in this, sort of little pond out there, there’s kind of a cavity in there,” said Waugh. 

According to Waugh, it was confirmed there was a broken pipe. 

“A sewer pipe broke, so all of the sewage was running out into the yard, and that’s why we kind of had a terrible smell out there,” Waugh said. 

Despite finding that a pipe was broken, there is no plan to repair the bathrooms.  

“The plumber came out to try and make a repair, and it can be fixed but it will take a while to fix it, and everybody agrees that we don’t want to spend money here,” said Ross.

Next year, classes will move into the new building, so repairs to the portable bathrooms would only be useful until the end of the school year. After that, the current infrastructure will be removed to make room for the new field. 

“There is no point in spending funds to repair something here for a month,” said Ross. 

The doors to the building closest to the portables will be unlocked to allow students to access the restrooms inside the school for the remainder of the year. These bathrooms also need repairs, as many stalls are broken or unusable. Ross said that instead of asking PPS to fix the toilets in the portables, they’ve asked PPS to make sure that more stalls inside the school are usable. 

“One of the things we told them that they had to do as part of this, is they have to make sure that they repair all the bathrooms inside the building,” said Ross. 

However, to Ross’ knowledge, the bathrooms have not yet been repaired.

Students and teachers should expect that the portable bathrooms will be closed for the rest of the year.